As a licensed MFT (marriage and family therapist) I have been practicing psychotherapy and counseling in Lafayette, California, for over 30 years. My specialty is working with people affected by relinquishment and adoption.
Sometimes adoption triad members get stuck in aspects of their relationships and need some type of mediation to get unstuck. It may not be possible to travel to Lafayette to seek help. Although I do not do long-term therapy via telephone, I do consultations and short-term work. I have found that it can really make a difference to have someone not emotionally involved in the relationship, yet intimately acquainted with adoption issues, give a different and more helpful perspective.
- Adoptees: Are you having a difficult time in relationships? Do you feel that people are trying to control you? Are you afraid to trust or get close to others? Do you believe you have no lasting effect on others? Do you feel like a chameleon with no real self? Are you aware of the difference between your true self and the coping mechanisms you may be using to avoid another loss? Do you feel a little depressed and somewhat anxious most of the time? There is hope for authenticity, accountability, peacefulness, and good relationships.
- Birth parents: Have you been told that you shouldn’t feel bad because “you did the right thing?” Are you feeling that no one understands the loss you have felt all these years? Are you looking for a way to tell family members about this devastating trauma in your life? Are you thinking about trying to find your lost child? Maybe I can help.
- Adoptees and Birth parents: Is the bloom off the rose of your reunion? Are you having difficulty understanding the other’s behavior and attitudes? Is everyone tiptoeing round one another, afraid to cause the other to disappear (again)? Are you wondering if there is any relationship left? A few phone consultations could help. Conference calls can be arranged.
- Adoptive parents: Are you having a difficult time understanding some of your child’s behavior? Are you afraid that he is being self-destructive or self-sabotaging? Is control a big issue? Would you like to have a better relationship with her? A few pointers may put you on the path to a better connection with your child and a better outlook for his or her future.
- Partners and spouses of adoptees: Are you wondering what is happening in your relationship? Is your partner acting as if he/she has no effect on you? Do you see a double standard of behavior between you and your partner? Is he/she often acting child-like? Do you think your partner is setting you up to be the “abandoning parent?” Learn some strategies to help your partner become more aware of his behavior and the effect it is having on the relationship as well as ways in which you may be contributing to the problem.
- Therapists: Do you understand the specific problems that result from relinquishment and adoption? Do you realize that separation of mother and child is a trauma for both? Do you know the issues that ensue from this experience for all concerned? Do you have specific information for adoptive parents to help them understand and connection with their child? Colleges and universities don’t provide very much information about this subject. If you need some specific information, perhaps I can help.